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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Rampage blows away UAE box offices

Local audiences eschew US indifference to new Dwayne Johnson thriller - with its opening weekend here surpassing even that of smash hit Black Panther 

George the Gorilla (left) and Dwayne Johnson in Rampage
George the Gorilla (left) and Dwayne Johnson in Rampage

Rampage may have failed to set the US box office alight over the weekend, but it seems audiences in the UAE can’t get enough of Dwayne Johnson and his monkey business in the big budget monster flick.

The film pulled in a disappointing $34.5M (Dh126.7M) on its opening weekend in the US – some way off the $40M early tracking had hoped for, but better than the $28M tracking was suggesting on Friday evening – and narrowly took first place at the box office ahead of John Krasinski’s surprise hit horror A Quiet Place, which pulled in $32.6M in its second week.

It was a different story here in the UAE, however, where the movie grossed Dh7,522,947 at the local box office, making it the biggest 2018 opening weekend thus far, surpassing even Marvel’s smash hit Black Panther. It was also the second-highest opening ever for a Warner Brothers’ film, behind 2016’s Batman V Superman, and the biggest opening for a Dwayne Johnson movie ever.

Can UAE audiences just not get enough of Johnson following his appearance in the Abu Dhabi-shot FF7? Does the nation’s love of all things giant even extend to cinema monsters? Is the hotter weather starting to affect people’s judgement? We may never know, but the UAE haul helped the movie towards a $114.1M international total, which included a top spot at the Chinese box office, where the film took $55M over the weekend.

The international figures will certainly bring some relief to studio execs sweating at the US disappointment, although with a $120M production budget before marketing, the film has some way to go to make back its budget.

This story was updated at 7.17pm on Sunday April 15 to reflect updated international box office figures.

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